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spotlight_-_h_2015Despite some amazing films up for nomination, the last award of the night, best picture, was given to Spotlight, a film about Boston Globe investigative reporters digging into a sexual abuse scandal involving Catholic priests.

Spotlight was nominated for 6 Academy Awards this year. Due to The Revenant winning best director and best actor, viewers were left stunned when Spotlight took home the biggest award of the night. This was a prime example of how the Academy does not always stick with popular opinion. It’s reminiscent of 12 Years a Slave vs. Gravity in 2013. While Gravity undoubtedly was an amazing technical achievement, 12 Years had the guts. Spotlight viewers were passionate about the film’s message; it had the power to say what needed to be said.

“This film gave a voice to survivors,” producer Michael Sugar stated. “And this film amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican.”

Spotlight was always a top contender at the Academy Awards this year, ever since its premiere at the Venice film festival in September of 2015. Spotlight has commanded considerable attention and marked it’s presence by winning a string of significant awards. The Academy voters responded to a film that had a serious and deliberate message.

Spotlight also took the award home for Best Original Screenplay.

While the faith film was the evening’s last highlight, many other films are basking in the glow of an Oscar. Mad Max: Fury Road took home a total of six Oscars; the most of any film of the night. Leonardo DiCaprio took home his first Oscar for best actor for The Revenant and Brie Larson took home the Oscar for best actress for Room. Best supporting actress went to Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl, and best supporting actor went home with Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies.

The 88th Academy Awards aired from Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

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